Boman, you have been referred to as dad and father and now it′s the turn of Abba, guess you have become a larger than life character on screen.
I think all of these pops and dads are more or less off-screen, on screen it′s now Abba. In Well Done Abba it′s the first time that someone refers to me as dad on screen. I am so proud to play father to young Minissha and in many ways father to Sameer Dattani, who plays the role of Arif in the film. I play the role of his reluctant father.
Few days back Dia Mirza had commented that if at all she got married someday, she would like you to do the ceremony of kanyadaan, how do you take this as?
Honestly that′s one of the greatest responsibilities that have been thrust upon me. I am really touched and moved by this gesture of Diya. I feel life has its wonderful ways of making friends and relationships that amounts to taking it beyond the family you know. It becomes an extended family in many ways. It′s very touching and it′s very sweet of her to have said so. Obviously this is the ways she feels about me, else she would have never made such a remark.
How was the experience of working with Shyam Benegal for Well Done Abba?
I would refer to him as a taskmaster in a positive sense. Taskmaster is someone who is busy cracking his whip on someone. But in the case of Shyam Benegal the title of taskmaster comes out of respect and benevolence. He is one director who has worked with the finest actors in the business in the history of Indian cinema. We are talking about the best. If you are going to be a part of his film and if you are worthy of being on that list, you have to push yourself every waking minute to make sure that there is a justification of you being part of his list. In that sense he is a taskmaster otherwise he is as friendly and genial and kind.
How about his sense of humour?
He has got an amazing sense of humour. He is naughty and witty. His humour is not just meant for you, it′s meant for every single person on the sets. And that is the way a general sort of marshals his troops and he understands that completely. You are not the most important person on the sets, for him every single individual person on the set is very important to him and thats so because they all are contributing to the film making process. He makes sure that everybody on the sets is given attention even if it′s in the form of a joke or just one smile or just a pat on the back. That one pat on the back is good enough and that lifts the spirits of that person. He knows it′s important for people to make them feel special. He realizes how important they are to his film.
Did you play pranks on Minisha while shooting for the film?
Oh, it was much worse. I think someone needs someone to pick on and fortunately for us and unfortunately for Minisha, it was she. There were many reasons to pick on Minissha. I don′t what was the reason but we simply picked on her. We are okay with our choice and we are not grumbling.
Any funny or interesting thing that you would like to share that transpired on the sets.
Minissha would go on and on that how she was on a diet and would eat only dahi. We used to say that what kind of diet is that. We would pick on that habit of hers and then tease her about it. Lets not get into all the details.
Few critics who have seen the film have even commented that it′s better that Welcome to Sajjanpur?
Well for the first time I agree with the critics. They are absolutely right. Welcome to Sajjanpur is a beautifully charming movie but for Abba I would say that this film has gone a step ahead. This is not what I am saying; this is what the critics have said. It′s Ashok Mishra who feels so who has written both the films.
What is it in Well Done Abba which you feel will pull the audience towards it?
I tell you no matter what the subject may be, no matter what the theme or style of filmmaking is, audiences are always interested in good movies. They could be about anything told in any way and makes sense to them. At the end of it a film is a film is a film. And if a film is good audience will not let it pass. I don′t know of a good or great film that never did well. I think it′s very important that films should have their own color palette and language so to speak. Audiences are now looking for different kinds of cinemas. They are looking for variety of cinemas, from blockbusters to meaningful cinemas. They have been asking and baying for a good sensible comedy and through Well Done Abba we are giving it to them. It′s up to them to go and watch it.
Lot many actors have said this that they would love to work with you, it′s like everyone wants a share of Boman Irani, how do you feel so?
Well I would like to know their names. I would love to call them up and thank them very much. It′s very encouraging and there is nothing more encouraging than to know that your peers have good words to say about you. I have been lucky in my career that I was given the opportunity to work with some best actors of the industry who mean something to Indian cinema. I am the greatest fan of this gentleman who is no more - Balraj Sahni. I would have been extremely charmed and honored if I had shared some space with him. Every time I get stuck somewhere, then I don′t need to imitate or follow the way he did. I always say this to his son that that the man is here to me, if I get stuck somewhere I only have to close my eyes and think about him and its gets sorted.
Are there any favourite actors of yours from the current lot?
I think you will get me into trouble because of this. I am a big fan of Shabana, Mr. Bachchan, Naseer, Om Puri, Paresh, Anupam, Sanju, SRK and Aamir. It′s been quite a wonderful journey because you learn so much from them because each has its own unique acting style.
Any actor who has an amazing sense of humour?
I think Ritesh has a good sense of humour. He is one naughty fellow and has a great sense of humour. Even Paresh Bhai has a very naughty sense of humour. Om has got a great sense of humour. I think I have enjoyed working with SRK and Aamir very much.
Thanks a lot.